Thursday, June 11, 2020

His Duty As A Trooper

I didn't write this post. 
(It seems I am mostly still not able to write. I'm trying to figure that out, but if you have been wondering? Well, I'm wondering as well.)
This post was written by Richard Holman, a 27 year-old second-generation member of the Georgia State Patrol. I cannot speak highly enough of his parents, who I have known since 1991. In fact, I'm not even going to try, except to say that if you lived next door to them, or had the privilege of working with them, you would call yourself blessed, just as I do.

August 2017: 
New graduate Richard is issued the same badge number
his father Lee had, when he served.

I was nearly overwhelmed with pride, when I read Richard's reflections on his duty as a member of the GSP, and as a man, during the unrest in Atlanta in the recent past. These are his words, verbatim, which you may also find on his May 31 entry on his Facebook page.

I’ve been pondering the “right” way to put this, but if I keep thinking about it then it’ll never be said. The more I grow the more I am able to clearly formulate my own opinions and feeling about the world. I’ve felt a hard press on my heart this week to share these thoughts, and I’ve ignored too many calls from God to not share this one.

First of all, hi I’m Richard. I am In law enforcement, and I am proud of the job I do everyday and the department I serve. I love to serve my wife, my church, my friends, my family, and my community. My mission goes beyond getting bad folks off the roads. I strive to dig into my community to bridge a gap that for far too long has been left void. A large part of my job includes listening to people. When I encounter someone I’ve always found that listening to them is a fantastic way to start that conversation. I know what I have to say to people, so I want to know what they have to say to me. I can’t change the past, and I can’t change someone’s perspective. I CAN listen to understand perspective, and pray I leave a better footprint.

With that said, the pain that is being expressed in these gatherings is felt. The tears have been seen. Your chants are being heard. It is my obligation as a good man to support and listen to the protest. It is my duty as a Trooper to bridge that gap. I’m speaking out against any man or woman in law enforcement that does not believe that it is our duty to truly serve with love and compassion for each and every person. I have unregrettably apologized to people for the way they have been treated by other law enforcement officers in the past, and will continue to do so.

For the last 3 days. I have been in Atlanta. There have been numerous protest with meaning and real passion with real missions taking place. I value your expressions and your mission. I have had conversations with people where I did nothing but listen, and ask more questioned to gain a new perspective. I did this because I needed to understand the best I can. My duty as a Trooper and my obligation as a human is to defend your protest. If harm comes to you I will defend you, and I have seen you defend those on duty. We should begin to value each other as God values us. For me that starts with listening.

There are many coming that do not have a real cry. They do not have any words that add value or express pain. They have a mission to cause pain, and to divide even deeper. These are the wolves. They’ve swept into a meaningful expression, and stole the mission from millions of people. I want those that are protesting to know that I see that. I see that your agenda is to bridge the gap just like me. And I will defend you in these streets as the wolves are trying to tear apart what you’ve so desperately needed to say. I love you all, and I’m always here for you.
Even if you don't know Richard personally; even if you don't have the privilege of living in the Great State of Georgia; if you care about the future of the relationship between law enforcement and civilians, then this should make you proud. This should give you hope. As long as there are men and women who understand their mission the way that Richard Holman does, then the LEO side of the equation will work. It's up to the rest of us to take care of the civilian side.

Peace be on your household. 

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